Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ST:TNG 6.03 Man of the People ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Troi gets bombarded with a tranquil mediators malicious energy in 6.03 Man of the People.
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Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with ...

Man of the People
Season 6, Episode 3

Story:
  • The Enterprise is transporting a mediator, Ambassador Alkar, after his defenseless transport ship has been attacked on the way to Rekag-Seronia to resolve continuous hostilities. Turns out his tranquil mediation style is only achieved by channelling his own malicious thoughts into someone else, and when his current 'receptacle' dies he unwillingly uses Troi.
    Character Focus:
    • Troi is the main focus here, as we she her behavior change and appear to age rapidly once Alkar forces her to be his new 'receptacle'. She also actually (intentionally) dies in the episode, so that Alkar will stop channelling to her and then later they revive her. I think that might be the first actual death/revival of a crew member.
    • Ambassador Alkar is also a focus, being the baddie of the episode and quite horrifically so with a complete lack of remorse for using people to house his darker side. Also, the woman who appears to be his mother, is also a focus as she displays the erratic behavior which we then see in Troi.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember it as a 'Troi taken over' episode, and the horror of her going through such an awful transformation. Plus how much of a violation it is, truly horrific. I also mistook this one for a different one! So I know there is likely at least one more of these eps to come.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • Not so much about this episode in particular, but this is the first time I noticed that the cast names for the 'also starring' portion of the opening credits are alphabetical by the last name of the actor. On one hand, this feels silly to even mention but on the other hand I'm shocked I never noticed before!
    • I loved how Picard was without question going to stop Alkar and hold him accountable, once he found out what was going on there was no question this was going to happen and I loved how Picard called him 'wantonly immoral'. So true!
    What feels different now, than then:
    • It cheeses me off that it feels like (at least) once a season Troi gets possessed or taken advantage of in some way. This one was really bad, second only to 5.12 Violations.
    • On the flip side to that, when she is receiving the negative energy from Ambassador Alkar she displays often what on other shows tends to be typical 'annoying' female behavior of being jealous, flippant and selfish - but this actually shows such a contrast from her, or any character in the series, that it can serve to exemplify how untypical the show is when it comes to gender depictions. You can also really see it when she gets all one-minded with Riker insisting that he is jealous, which totally abnormal for their relationship.
    What remained the same:
    • It's pretty shocking that it's inferred Troi sleeps with a crew member she randomly encounters in the ship, although I was impressed with the subtly of how they show that.
    • It was also really shocking to see her basically tell someone off in a counselling session, by saying she was tired of hearing her complain and if she can't hack it prepare to be transferred.
    • The dress she wears in Ten-Forward is STUNNING!
    What I see differently:
    • It's a great example that what appears to be the most logical solution, sometimes is not. This one everyone thought Alkar's 'mother' display of odd behavior was explained away by her age, but in fact Troi's first instincts were right that something was off with her and she was dangerous and full of hate.
    • I think it's a way of saying you can't negate the darker emotions of yourself, because when Alkar did this sure he was calm but he also had no sense of right and wrong. As challenging as it may be, it is up to the individual to handle *all* aspects of themselves.
    Great Quotes:
    • "It's not going to be any easier tomorrow." - Riker
    • "You're a coward, Alkar. You exploit the innocent, because you're unwilling to shoulder the burdens of unpleasant emotions." - Picard
    • "Counselor Troi has altered her appearance." - Data
    Left off at:
    When Beverly finally gets the okay to do the autopsy on Alkar's 'mother', she finds the woman was 30 not 90 and displays the same trauma Troi is going through. They induce Troi's death so Alkar will stop channeling to her and then block his attempt to connect with another woman. This leads to a backlash of the negative energy/emotions to Alkar, which kills him.

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    Images Source: TrekCore

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